John 12:9-15

In John 12:9-15 the word gets out that Jesus is back in town.  “Word got out among the Jews that he was back in town. The people came to take a look, not only at Jesus but also at Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. So the high priests plotted to kill Lazarus because so many of the Jews were going over and believing in Jesus on account of him”. The religious leaders couldn’t have Jesus talking to people and drawing a following based on His miracles.  And then there was Lazarus who had been raised from the dead after four days.  This was a real problem so the leaders decide to try and take Lazarus out to remove the testimony of Jesus’ power.

The chief priests were mostly Sadducees, and the Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection. Lazarus was a living example of life after death, and having him around was an embarrassment to their theological system. For them, there was only one solution to this embarrassing problem – to put Lazarus to death and get rid of the evidence.  But things don’t go well according to their plan. “The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name! Yes! The King of Israel”!

The story of Jesus’ miracles had preceded Him, and the people were looking and watching for Him.  So as He approached the city, they rushed to the road and we have Palm Sunday – the day the King rode into town on a donkey and was cheered on by the people.  This had to cause the religious leaders to fume all the more.  The cry Hosanna! meant “save now,” and on this day the crowd received Jesus as a triumphant Messiah. This was a patriotic rally, and the crowds looked to Jesus as a political and national savior, but not a spiritual savior. They didn’t understand what His purpose truly was – to be a sacrifice for the salvation of mankind.

The crowds adored Jesus because they believed that the raising of Lazarus from the dead established Jesus’ credentials as a conquering Messiah. There was also a significant part of this experience that related to prophecy.  “Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it: No fear, Daughter Zion: See how your king comes, riding a donkey’s colt”. The popularity of Jesus was offensive to His enemies. It made them feel that they were accomplishing nothing. He was upsetting all they had worked for for centuries.  They had to stop Him.  And they focused on doing exactly that.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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